The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development announces the winners of the 17th edition of the Sawiris Cultural Prize

Cairo, Egypt: The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development celebrated the closing ceremony of the 17th edition of the Sawiris Cultural Prize on Saturday, January 8, at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilizations. The ceremony brought together a large number of Egyptian public figures, ministers, ambassadors and models, including intellectuals, artists, designers and politicians. They witnessed the honor of 16 established and emerging writers, who received the awards, out of 1,304 literary works submitted.

The ceremony began with distinguished guest of honour, actress Hend Sabry, who led the welcoming remarks and applauded the award for its impact in supporting and motivating the creative industry in Egypt. Dr. Mohamed Abu Al-Ghar, Board Member of the Sawiris Cultural Prize, also delivered a speech on the competition’s most important developments for the year 2021, such as the latest addition to the competition category, the Best Book for Children Under 12 and changing the Literary Criticism category to include non-fiction. Additionally, Eng. Naguib Sawiris, Founder and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sawiris Foundation, delivered his keynote speech highlighting the Sawiris Foundation’s commitment to supporting the development of cultural and creative initiatives in Egypt.

Eng. Samih Sawiris, Founder and Member of the Board of Directors of the Sawiris Foundation, and Patron of the Sawiris Cultural Prize, gave the closing speech of the ceremony, congratulating all the winners and thanking the members of the jury for their efforts in 17th edition of the competition.

Winners of the Sawiris Cultural Prize – Edition 17

The award for Best Novel for Established Writers, went equally between writers, Adel Asaad Al-Miri, for his novel “Kheyot Akmeshat Alzat – Strings of Self Fabric”, published by Ibidi Publications, and Muhammed Abu Zaid, for his novel “Ankaboot Fel Qa lb – Spider in the Heart”, published by the Egyptian General Book Organizations. In addition, the best collection of short stories for senior writers also went equally to Osama Habashi, for his work “Hawel Ala Tarani – Try not to see me”, published by the General Organization of Cultural Palaces, and Mohamed Abdel Nabi, for his short film story “Kan Yama Kan – Once upon a time”, published by Dar Al-Ain.

As for the prize for the best novel for emerging writers, Areej Jamal won 1st place for his book “Ana Arwa Ya Mariam”, published by Dar Al-Saqi; which also won the prize for English translation and publishing. Youssef Nabil came in 2nd place for his novel “Al-Lekaa Al-Akheir – The Last Encounter”, published by Dar Al-Mahrousa.

Regarding the literary award for the best collection of short stories, Omaima Sobhi won 1st place, for her collection of short stories “Roaa Al Madina Al Mokadasa – Visions of the Holy City”, published by Dar Al-Ain. Amira Badawi came in 2nd place for her short story “Set Zawaya Lel Salah – Six Corners of Prayer”, also published by Dar Al-Ain. Similarly, Mohamed Abdullah Sami, also won 2nd place for his work “Napoleon wa al Erd – Napoleon and the Monkey”, which was published by Dar Al-Mahrousa.

The Best Screenplay Award for Established Writers went to Dina Hamza, for her screenplay “Elag Tabeai – Physical Therapy”, while the Best Screenplay Award for Emerging Writers went to Salma Abbas, for her film screenplay” Arbaat Ayam… Wa Youm -Four Days… and a day”.

The first prize for best playwriting went to writer Ibrahim Al-Husseini for his screenplay “Bab Eshk”, and the second prize went to El Sayed Fahim for his screenplay “Seeret Bani Fahman”.

In addition, the award for best work in the field of literary criticism and non-fiction was awarded to Mohsen Al-Balassi for his book, “Rehlet Kamel Al-Talmasani – The journey of Kamel Al-Talmasani”.

For the first time, the winners of Best Book for Children Under 12 have been announced, with Ahmed Toson winning Best Written Text for Children Under 12 for ‘Man Yoeed Al Defa’ lel Madina – Who brings warmth to the city? », and Samir Abdel Ghani won the prize for the best drawing for children under 12, for his work « Ma Kabl Al Bateekh – Before the watermelon ».

Regarding the selection process, seven jury committees participated in the evaluation of the works submitted, to select the winners of this session. The committees included a diverse selection of writers, filmmakers, critics and theater teachers based in Egypt.

Members of the Jury

Jury for the Best Collection of Novels and Short Stories – Confirmed Writers: Professor Nabil Abdel Fattah (Committee Rapporteur), Professor Dr. Amina Amer, Novelist Mr. Jar-Nabi El Helou, Ambassador Dr. Laila Bahaa El-Din, and Poet Dr Najat Ali.

Jury for Best Collection of Novels and Short Stories – Emerging Writers: Novelist Dr. Muhammed Tawfiq (Committee Rapporteur), Writer Professor Dina Heshmat, Professor Dr. Lamis Al-Naqash, Novelist Professor Hisham Al-Khashin and the Late Professor Magda El-Gendy.

Best Screenplay Jury – Confirmed Writers: Screenwriter and Principal Director, Mr. Bashir Al-Deek (Committee Rapporteur), Music Composer, Dr. Rajeh Daoud, Film Critic Mr. Tarek El-Shennawy, Director, Ms. Maggie Morgan, and director Mr. Karim Hanafi.

Best Screenplay Jury – Emerging Writers: The Great Director, Mr. Ali Badrakhan (Committee Rapporteur), Director Ms. Taghreed Al-Asfoury, Mr. Abdel Fattah Kamal, Editor Ms. Mona Rabie, and Director Ms. Hala Al-Qusi .

Jury for Best Playwriting: Professor Dr. Iman Ezz-Eldin (Committee Rapporteur), Theater Director Mr. Nasser Abdel Moneim, Professor Dr. Mustafa Riyad, Professor Dr. Najla Al-Hadidi, and Theater Director Mr. Ahmed Al-Attar.

Jury of Literary Criticism and Non-fiction: Professor Dr. Khairy Doma (Rapporteur of the committee), Journalist Writer Ms. Dina Ezzat, Researcher Ms. Reem Saad, Writer and Researcher Mr. Kamel Moghith, and the Great Novelist Mr. Mahmoud Al-Wardani.

Jury for the Best Book for Children under 12: Great Artist, Mr. Helmy El-Tuni (Rapporteur of the committee), Professor Dr. Abla Othman, Writer Mrs. Fatima Al-Madoul, Professor Dr. Lubna Youssef, and Writer Mr. Walid Taher.


About the Sawiris Cultural Prize:

The Sawiris Cultural Prize is one of the most important programs of the Sawiris Foundation for social development. it supports cultural enlightenment efforts, enriches the spirit of society and revives it. The Sawiris Cultural Prize program was first launched in 2005, to honor the best creative works, by established and young writers, in the fields of novel writing, short stories, film script, text theater, literary criticism, literary narratives and children’s literature. The program, over 17 editions, has successfully created an ideal basis for enriching cultural life in Egypt, celebrating creativity and being able to achieve a leading position among the awards; both locally and in the Arab world.

© Press release 2022

Joel C. Hicks